Comment Bob L.
It seems that this state does not know how to spend money wisely, it seems every year that they go through this same thing, this shows the people of Washington State that the government does not care what they do, it is about time that the people of Washington State put a stop to these Special Sessions. If they can not do the job that they were Elected to do in the time set, then get people who can.
This is not the only job they have, so why are they doing this, is it because the other Washington does it and they think that they are entitled to do so.
These greedy people should get paid TEN Dollars and A Forty Hours a week and nothing else, and they pay for their own medical and retirement out of their pay just like the private sector, and lets see how the like it, and then maybe they would get the message that they are not privileged and give them selves any thing they want, unless the same also goes to the private sector the same that they get.
Lawmakers start final stretch of special session
By RACHEL LA CORTE Associated Press
Monday, June 3, 2013
OLYMPIA, Wash. —
With just over a week left in an overtime legislative session, negotiations on the state budget continue, but without a deal in sight and limited activity at the Capitol, one lawmaker on Monday said the possibility of a second overtime session was more and more likely.
Senate Minority Leader Ed Murray, D-Seattle, said that the next 24 hours are crucial.
“If there isn’t some break, it’s inevitable we’re heading toward another special session and I believe that will drive us over a fiscal cliff,” he said.
Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler said he was going to “focus on the positive.”
“We’re still talking,” he said. “We’re still working.”
Lawmakers are in the midst of a 30-day special session that began on May 13 and is set to end June 11. They face a $1.2 billion budget shortfall for the two-year cycle that ends in the middle of 2015. That doesn’t count an additional approximate $1 billion that lawmakers are seeking in response to a court-ordered requirement that the state spend more on its basic education system.
Budget negotiations have been taking place for weeks between the Democratic-controlled House and the Senate, which is controlled by a coalition of 23 Republicans and two Democrats.
The original House and Senate budgets were about $1 billion apart, with House Democrats seeking new revenue by extending taxes and eliminating tax breaks, and the Senate majority looking to balance the budget without new taxes, relying on cuts to social programs and fund transfers.
House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, D-Covington, said that while logistically it is possible to get an agreement and budget passed by next week, he’s still worried about what happens if lawmakers haven’t agreed on a spending plan before the start of the fiscal year on July 1.
“I’m very concerned it will have a dramatic impact on our ability to provide services,” he said.
Gov. Jay Inslee issued a statement late Friday saying that he’s become “increasingly concerned about the pace of budget negotiations.”
“All sides need to realize that it is time for significant compromise,” he said in the prepared statement.
The only public activity on Monday was a floor session in the Senate for senators to share their remembrances of Sen. Mike Carrell, who died at age 69 last week from complications related to treatment for a blood condition.
With his death, the Senate is currently in a tie, with 24 Democrats and 24 members of the Majority Coalition Caucus. The Pierce County Council could choose a replacement for Carrell as early as Tuesday.
Another deadline lawmakers face is dueling bills in the Senate and House on how to address a Supreme Court ruling that found some married couples could avoid the estate tax if they used a certain trust. The House last week passed a bill requiring the tax to be paid on the value of the estate above $2 million, regardless of marital status.
The Department of Revenue says it has already received 70 refund requests totaling between $40 million and $50 million from estates that had paid the taxes prior to the court ruling. Spokesman Mike Gowrylow said the department started processing checks Monday, and that the first checks could be sent out next week unless a legislative fix occurs before then. The state has said that without a fix, it could cost the state $160 million over the next two years, including refunds, cancelled assessments and future lost revenue.
A bill put forth by Senate Republicans would address the refund issue, as the House bill does, but lower tax rates and phase in raising the value of estates to be taxed from $2 million to the federal level of $5 million.
Inslee blasted that version Friday, saying it “would take us in the wrong direction.”